Buying a Duplex

Buying a duplex or multi-unit home instead of a single family home can have many advantages. As long as the purchaser lives in one of the units, it is considered an owner occupied home when obtaining a mortgage. Rental income can not only help with mortgage payments, but can potentially help the purchaser qualify for the mortgage as well.

Accunet provides several different ways to finance the purchase of a duplex and will work with you to determine which option is the best for each individual purchaser:

Conventional Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac Mortgage

  • These mortgages require at least 5% down and 6-12 months of reserves, depending on automated underwriting.
  • A borrower may be able to use future rental income to qualify for the mortgage based on a rental analysis by an appraiser. Fannie Mae allows you to use 75% of the market rent amount to calculate the subject property’s net cash flow on a primary residence. This can potentially provide a significant reduction to a purchaser’s debt to income ratio and help to qualify for a loan.

Home Possible Mortgage by Freddie Mac

  • A borrower must be below the designated income limit that varies by neighborhood. Some census tracts have no income limits for a Home Possible loan.
  • Home Possible requires 5% down on 2 unit homes.
  • When purchasing a multi-unit property, Home Possible requires:
    • The purchaser must occupy one of the units
    • Rental income must be included in program income calculations and
    • At least 3% of the down payment must come from the borrower’s personal funds.


  • FHA loans require a borrower to contribute as little as 3.5% down for 2-unit properties with no additional reserve requirement. This is also true for 1, 3, and 4-unit properties.
  • Future rental income can be used to qualify for the mortgage based on a rental analysis by an appraiser.
  • An FHA mortgage includes an upfront mortgage insurance premium and permanent monthly mortgage insurance.

VA – For Qualified Military Veterans

  • Loans can require as little as no money down.
  • A borrower must certify their intent to live in one of the units as the primary residence, the other unit(s) may be rented out.


  • The combined income of all occupants of the property cannot exceed WHEDA’s income limit for the county or census tract in which the property is located. WHEDA has loan maximums by county and census tract as well.
  • At least one borrower must complete WHEDA’s Home Buyer Education program and an approved landlord education course.
  • Requires as little as 0% down payment but may also require 6 months reserves, depending upon the borrower’s credit profile.

Details matter. Since there are many options available for borrowers wanting to purchase a duplex, teaming up with your Accunet loan consultant to find the best option for you is important. If you are interested in starting the process of purchasing a duplex, click the blue button to get in contact with one of our friendly, knowledgeable loan consultants.

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